Two suspects in a recent cattle theft appeared in Antelope County District Court on Wednesday.
Rebecca M. (Bree) Robbins, 22, and Benjamin Johnson, 27, both pleaded not guilty to three felony charges in connection with the theft of cattle north of Neligh in June.
Robbins and Johnson each face charges of theft by deception (Class III felony), criminal attempted theft by unlawful taking (Class IV felony), and theft by unlawful taking (Class III felony) in Antelope County. Judge Mark Johnson set their pretrial conferences for September 24 at 9 a.m.
The judge continued a $100,000 bond for Robbins and a $15,000 bond for Johnson. They were remanded back into the custody of the Antelope County Sheriff's Department and remain incarcerated. Both have court-appointed attorneys; Jeff Doerr represents Robbins and Pat Carney is Johnson's attorney.
According to a probable cause affidavit, 35 cows and 40 calves were taken from Wilber Rakow's property 7 1/2 miles east of Highway 14 and 854 Road (Pierce/Neligh Road) on June 25 and later located in Platte County. Once the cattle were located, immediate arrangements were made to return the cattle to Rakow.
Robbins, formerly of Antelope County; Johnson of St. Edward; and Errik S. Dummitt, 26 of Bellevue; allegedly attempted to load the cattle on May 19. When that attempt failed, the cattle were then loaded onto trucks on June 25. There is an arrest warrant for Dummitt's arrest on two felony counts.
Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore said Lawrence and Linda Klink of Columbus paid $16,000 in cash and check installments to Robbins over several weeks and intended to purchase 80 cattle. During a phone conversation, Johnson admitted to Moore that he assisted in loading the cattle but believed they belonged to Robbins.